Latest posts by Bookertoo

Squirrel Sabotage of my Wildflower meadow

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 12:35

Plants will push up through just about any size netting, the squirrels will get through the most amazingly small sized holes if they want to - and they always do want to . Buy the smallest size you can, it does help.  I also protect my bulb pots with holly and pyracantha hedge cuttings tucked around them and folded over the bulbs - squirrels don't like the prickles any more than we do.  You can take the twigs off when the bulbs shoots reach a decent size - they seem not to bother then. 

After around 20 years of buying just about every so called 'squirrel proof' bird feeders, all of which were solved by the squirrels in a matter of hours, I have bought one that actually works. It is  called 'squirrel buster', it does, to my amazement seem to be keeping them out and the birds in - oh joy.  I have tried it all, whatever you want to mix with the feed - chilli, pepper, soap, garlic - all happily eaten by the rats that squirrels are, but maybe the end of that has come.  We'll see when the Spring brings baby ones and the need gets greater, that will be the true test, but so far, so good.



Vermucellite for pot drainage

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 12:15

That is indeed a brilliant idea, just got used to the polystyrene I guess.  I do sometimes drop smaller planted pots onto a brick or stone inside a very big pot so that the flowers 'flow' over the sides without half a ton of compost - that works well too.  Lots of ways of using huge pots that don't involve huge muscles - though I do have some that did, and would require a JCB to move them now, but have never any intention of moving those anyway.  

pancake day

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 12:11

Topbird, call 'em what you like, they are gorgeous!!

Edging a border with snowdrops (and polyanthus firecracker)

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 18:28

Do add scilla biflora - the best shade of blue there is.  Any of the spring smaller bulbs will just pop up year on year.  Maybe some cyclamen as well?  They will gently spread around - though none of them will last for ever - there is no such thing as a garden that is completely done - but if you can get your brother to add a few small shrubs like hebes and things of that ilk, you will be able to have a garden that needs less work than some of them.

Vermucellite for pot drainage

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:46

You're welcome, have used it for years so know it works.  Have fun. 

Eggplant Seedlings

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:37

Don't worry, we've all nursed a ferocious weed or two in our time - that's called learning, and is great fun, just as all gardening is.  Mind, it was hard to remember this when fighting a bitterly cold wind while trying to gather up heavy terracotta pots for emptying and cleaning the other day - definitely one of those 'remind me why I do this?" times. 

pancake day

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:34

Indeed, the longer you leave the batter to stand before you make the pancakes the better - up to a couple of hours.  This lets the gluten develop and they will stay together.  The pan must be hot, and the pancake cook quite quickly, we love them and eat them at all sorts of times in the year, not just Shrove Tuesday. 

Are you using plain flour Biofreak?  They don't work with self raising flour.  A decent pan kept for that pancakes only (OK the odd omelette is allowed in it, but nothing else ever!), wipe the tiny bit of butter or oil out as Aster2 says, pretty foolproof. Keep them thin - an old Victorian recipe says they should be thin enough to read your love letters through - but I feel that putting them on the computer monitor could get messy!!!!!

Have the photos been superimposed?

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:29

The ones to watch out for are the catalogues, and there are several, which show several flowers all appearing at once, which could not possibly do so.  This is an insinuated lie - they don't actually say they flower together, but showing the pictures side by side give the impression they do.  Then, when new gardeners try to get the effect, it is of course not possible - and sadly, the often blame themselves  "I can't get on with this gardening stuff'.  If you like a plant in a catalogue, search engine it, use the RHS or another good reliable site to see how it really looks, when it flowers, fruits or whatever, and whether it can grow where you live.  This can save alot of heartache, to say nothing on money!!

Vermucellite for pot drainage

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:23

Vermiculite is excellent for lightening and improving drainage of compost in pots, but would get washed out if used as you would like.  Try asking people, including shopkeepers,  to keep some expanded polystyrene for you, the white stuff TV's, fridges etc, come wrapped in.  It is easily  broken it up into lumps and use that in your pot bases.  It is totally inert, keeps things warm in winter and helps drainage when it pours.   Also makes the pots lighter, which is always a good thing. 

Primrose help

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:20

Just nip off the flower stems, if the sunshine comes they will flower again.  If you get seeds, sow them fresh in a tray and put somewhere safe and forget about it for a year or two, making sure it does not dry out but otherwise ignoring it.  You should get seedlings in time.  When flowering is finished, just let them be, maybe removing large dead leaves, letting them die back underground in their own time.  Mark the site or you might accidentally dig them up in summer while they are resting. 

They are the prettiest and most gentle of our Spring flowers, so sadly to many left in the wild, but we can keep them going in gardens.  Don't mix them up with hybrid primroses, they get coarse and brighter colours - fine if you like them but not primroses.

You can buy lovely strong plants from specialist surgeries. 

Discussions started by Bookertoo

What the ?*******? is doing this?

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watch out, watch out ……..

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Odd corrections?

Use of the English language! 
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Happy seasons greetings to all

Be joyful 
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squirrels and their cleverness

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Where and how? 
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For whom do we garden .............

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frosted lilies

any advice? 
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out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
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bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
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Hazel nut queries

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Flippin' pigeons

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12 threads returned